20 Fantastic Family Photo Outfit Ideas for Every Season
Looking for what to wear in your next family photos? We've got you covered with fantastic family photo outfit ideas for every season.
Is a family photo session coming up soon?
If so, you’re probably already planning what outfits everyone will be wearing, especially when wanting to make the photos as memorable as possible.
I’ve photographed many families in my time as a photographer, and I have a ton of experience in knowing how families look through the camera lens.
In this guide, I’ll share various outfit ideas that will look fabulous together and work for many backgrounds and settings.
Continue reading to learn more about fantastic family photo outfit ideas you can use for every season of the year.
What Should You Wear in Family Photos?
When planning outfits for family photos, there are several options to choose from.
Some of the best things to wear in family photos include:
- Neutral, coordinating colors
- Patterns, such as plaids, stripes, and florals (as long as they look good together)
- Fitted clothes – they always look better than loose-fitting clothing
- Closed-toed shoes
- Jeans, when worn with nice shirts
- Maxi dresses
- Long sleeves – they generally look better than short sleeves
- Layers – these can create various looks when taking multiple photos
- Different textures
What NOT to Wear in Family Photos
Some clothing options simply do not look good when worn during a family photoshoot.
While there are exceptions, below are some items you generally should not wear in family photos:
- Unfitted T-shirts
- Any clothing with logos or graphics
- Hats, especially baseball caps
- Sleeveless shirts, such as halter tops or tank tops
- Anything too revealing
- Cargo pants
- Velcro sandals
- Running shoes
- All-white or all-black outfits
- Dresses that are too short
- Loud patterns
Despite the ‘rules’ above, remember that it’s your shoot and you’re free to experiment to match your mood.
You should also consider the type of photoshoot too – a mommy and me photoshoot obviously requires different attire to a boudoir session!
Why Coordinate Your Family’s Outfits When Taking Family Photos?
One of the most commonly asked questions we receive as photographers is, “Why should I coordinate my family’s outfits for the photoshoot?”
The short answer is: “It looks better.”
Coordinated outfits for a family photoshoot ensure everyone looks good and there are no distracting and contrasting colors or clashing patterns.
Coordinating outfits for the whole family helps make everyone look good when standing or sitting next to one another, and it helps make everyone feel comfortable.
- Read more: How should a family pose for a photoshoot?
10 Tips for Choosing Outfits for Family Photos
Once you’ve found the perfect photographer for your family photo session, it’s time to start putting together the outfits. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when planning outfits for the whole family.
Tip 1: Start Thinking About What to Wear Early
When you book your family photo session, it’s time to start thinking about and planning what you will wear.
Don’t wait until the last minute to pick outfits because that will leave you rushed and could be troublesome when some outfits no longer fit family members.
Tip 2: Coordinate a Color Scheme
Planning a color scheme doesn’t mean everyone in the photo must wear the same outfit or colors. It’s just about avoiding clashes by using complementary color tones or by choosing the same colors in different shades.
You can coordinate a color scheme while still letting everyone’s individuality shine. This will keep the photos interesting: for example, you don’t want everyone wearing a plain white shirt and blue jeans.
To add variation to the photos, select a couple of shades that look well together and wear those colors.
Another idea is to choose neutral colors with everyone wearing one thing in a chosen accent color. This gives a little pop of vibrance to the images.
Tip 3: Look at Past Family Photo Outfits
Take a moment to look at past family photos and compare your outfits.
When planning family photoshoots, look at previous outfits, including color tones, textures, and patterns.
Do you notice a pattern in colors, outfit styles, textures, etc.? Do you want to change things up this year or follow the same style?
Most families like to change the look of photos each year to help prevent every year’s family pictures from looking the same.
Use the photos from previous sessions as inspiration on what you want to wear or what you may want to skip wearing.
Tip 4: Don’t Forget the Accessories
After selecting the outfits for your family photoshoot, it’s time to start thinking about accessories.
Fun accessories include necklaces, a bright scarf, a cute coat, stylish oversized hats, ties, and parasols.
Some of the accessories may become more of a photo prop than something to wear, which makes the photos fun and exciting.
Tip 5: Limit Patterns
Selecting patterns for family photo outfits can add pops of color and give the pictures a more unique look.
However, you want to limit the patterns you select and make sure you don’t select patterns that will clash.
Selecting one patterned outfit is the best way to add patterns to a photoshoot. Then, plan everyone else’s outfits around the patterned one.
The pattern will guide you when selecting complementary colors for everyone else to wear.
Tip 6: Avoid Character Outfits
Though your children may look cute in their matching Mickey Mouse outfits, it’s best to avoid wearing characters or other graphic designs.
Graphic design and character shirts can be distracting and sometimes make it challenging to create a uniform look in the family photo.
Tip 7: Shop for Clothing Collections
Several stores, especially online retailers, have color-coordinating collections in all sizes, including boys, girls, men, and women.
When shopping for collections in person, don’t be afraid to gather all the outfits and find a spot in the store to lay everything out.
Laying all the outfits out while in the store lets you see what they look like before getting them home, ensuring you select matching outfits.
Tip 8: Avoid All-White and All-Black Clothing
Though it may seem that wearing all-white or all-black outfits is an easy way to coordinate colors for a photo shoot, this is not always the best option.
Wearing all white for outdoor photo shoots can look very bright and cause issues with the photo’s appearance.
Additionally, wearing all black can make you look pale and appear dull.
Tip 9: Consider the Background
Know where the family photoshoot will occur, and see what the background looks like.
Knowing what the background looks like, including colors, textures, and patterns, can help determine what your family will wear.
Make sure your family photo outfits do not clash with the background, and also make sure the location does not distract from the most critical thing in the photo – your family.
Tip 10: Add Textures
Like accessories, textures can add to the look of your family photo outfits.
Different textures, including wool or cotton sweaters, blue jeans, and leather boots, can create a warm look in family pictures.
When planning your family photo outfits, play around with various textures and see how they will look when worn together.
Family Photo Outfit Ideas Through the Seasons
Gone are the days when families took photos once a year to send out holiday cards.
Today, more families are getting together for family photoshoots multiple times a year.
Each new season throughout the year is the perfect time to schedule a photo shoot because it not only celebrates each season but also helps document how fast your children are growing up.
Continue reading to see some ideas for outfits to wear during the different seasons.
Idea 1: Floral Outfits
Wearing brightly colored floral outfits looks amazing during a spring family photo session.
Another option for wearing floral outfits is to have one person wear a floral shirt, and the others wear solid complementary colors while holding colorful flowers.
Butterfly nets are perfect props to add to your floral outfits, completing the ensemble.
- Read more: Spring photography ideas
Idea 2: Hiking Outfits
If your family loves the great outdoors, plan outfits themed around hiking, including accessories such as walking sticks, binoculars, and compasses.
Idea 3: Spring Dresses
Spring dresses are the perfect outfit for women and girls to wear for a family photoshoot.
Dresses can be solid light colors and accented with brightly colored parasols or kites.
When women wear spring dresses, men and boys can wear khaki pants with a solid-colored shirt that complements the accessories worn by the women.
Idea 1: Picnic Outfits
Create family photo outfits with everyone wearing colors that match foods brought for a picnic.
- Read more: Summer photography ideas
Idea 2: Camping Outfits
Families who love camping will have fun getting dressed up for their photoshoot wearing various outfits they would typically wear while in the great outdoors.
Accessorizing these outfits with props, such as camping gear, pots and pans, and oversized camping chairs, will make for fun items kids will play with and hide behind during the photo session.
Idea 3: Beach Outfits
If you plan a photoshoot at a beach, consider dressing the family in fun beach-themed outfits.
Family photo outfits for a beach photoshoot include wearing bright colors while carrying beach toys, balls, and other beach-themed accessories.
- Read more: Beach photography ideas
Idea 1: Fishing Attire
Fishing is fun, and wearing fishing attire can make for fun fall family pictures.
Put on your finest fishing attire, accessorized with fishing poles, nets, and tackle boxes to create fun, unique family photo outfits.
- Read more: Fall (Autumn) photography ideas
Idea 2: Apple Picking Outfits
Create family photo outfits themed around apple-picking adventures.
Outfit ideas include wearing flannel shirts and jeans while carrying baskets and bushels as fun accessories.
Idea 3: Halloween Costumes
Halloween is a fun time to plan family photo shoots, and selecting outfits can be effortless – especially if the kids already have their costumes picked out.
Selecting costumes that match or complement one another can make for a fun photo shoot.
Costume theme ideas include superheroes, skeletons, cartoon characters, pumpkins, wild animals, and movie characters.
Idea 1: Classic Holiday Colors
Plan family photo outfits around classic holiday colors to give a festive touch to your family photos.
Popular color schemes for holidays include winter whites, blue and silver, red and green, silver and gold, or any combination of complementary colors.
- Read more: Winter photography ideas
Idea 2: Cooking Attire and Aprons
In winter, many families spend time cooking and baking in preparation for the holidays.
Create fun family photo outfits with everyone wearing cooking attire, such as chef hats and aprons.
Props for these outfits can include pots, mixing bowls, wooden mixing spoons, and ingredients like flour that, near the end, can be tossed around for a fun experience.
- Read more: How do you take good pictures of children?
Idea 3: Winter Gear
If you live in an area where it’s possible to get outside in the snow for a family photo shoot, putting together family photo outfits, including winter gear, can be fun.
Outfit ideas can include snowsuits, boots, snow skis, gloves, brightly colored scarves, hats, and snow shovels.
Family Photo Outfits for Special Occasions
Idea 1: Red and Green Plaid
A color palette of green or red is great for taking photos at Christmas time. Try having the kids wear plaid dresses or dress shirts and the adults wearing solid colors.
- Read more: 12 Indoor Christmas Photoshoot Ideas
Idea 2: Pajama Time
For photo outfits where families gather around a Christmas tree, wearing holiday-themed pajamas is fun and unique.
Large holiday books are fun to hold and for kids to hide behind during the photo shoot.
Idea 1: Formal Attire
Take advantage of Valentine’s Day and have the family get dressed in formal outfits, complete with ties, suit coats, and long dresses.
Don’t forget the oversized heart valentines for the kids to hold and play with during the photo shoot.
More: 31 romantic Valentine’s Day photoshoot ideas
Idea 2: Cupid
Plan fun outfits where everyone in the family is dressed as cupid with bow and heart arrows.
You can have the kids dress up as cupid shooting arrows at mom and dad.
As an additional prop, try using flowers or other objects laid out in the shape of a heart.
Idea 1: Overalls
Back-to-school photo sessions do not have to include kids wearing school uniforms.
Dress everyone in overalls with solid colored shirts underneath and bring accessories such as paints, brushes, crayons, and other back-to-school items.
Idea 2: Role Reversal
Change things up by having the kids dress up as parents, with curlers in their hair and coffee in hand.
Then have mom and dad dressed up as kids wearing back-to-school clothing and carrying backpacks.
Unique and/or Unusual Family Photo Outfits
If you are looking for something different from what many other families have done for their family pictures, check out the following unique family photo outfit ideas.
Idea 1: Funky Socks
Plan family photo outfits that are simple, with complementing colors that are not too vibrant.
Then, have everyone in the family wear bright, funky socks and go without shoes during the photo shoot.
Show off the socks in various photos – you can even have everyone sitting down with their feet lined up as the focal point of the family picture.
Idea 2: Mismatched Outfits
Here’s a final idea that your family may just absolutely love: throw out everything you learned in this article about planning family photo outfits and have everyone wear mismatched attire.
After all, the best way to feel confident is to wear whatever clothes you’re most comfortable in.
Though it may look busy in your photo, having mismatched outfits can be fun and ensures everyone brings their best smile to the photo shoot.
What are the best colors to wear for family pictures?
Neutral colors and natural earth tones are often a safe bet when planning a color scheme for your family photo.
Colors such as sage green, muted yellows and oranges, light blues, and shades of brown are safe colors to wear for family pictures.
What should I wear for a large group family photo?
If you don’t have the benefit of knowing what others are wearing in a large group family photo, it’s best to wear an outfit with solid neutral colors.
If possible, try to coordinate with family members and have everyone wear the same color or type of pants or skirts with variations of the same color scheme.
What to wear in family photos to look thinner?
Solid dark colors help make you look thinner in family photos.
Because you don’t want to wear an outfit entirely of solid black, it’s best to add a pop of color, such as blue or green, to the outfit.
Planning family photo outfits can be fun and provides you with plenty of opportunities to get creative.
Different colors and themes work for holidays, special occasions, and other times of the year while creating unique and festive family photo outfits.
If you have a family photo shoot coming up, have fun selecting the outfits, get the family involved, and don’t hesitate to ask your photographer questions about the shoot’s location.
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